How To Protect Your Employees From Biohazards

When you run a business that can potentially expose your staff members to biohazards, it is your responsibility to make sure that you do whatever possible to limit the exposure of your workers to these hazards. Not only are there legal requirements you must abide by, but there are also best practices that can help reduce your firm's liability. The methods that should be taken to protect employees from biohazards, outside of common practices such as handwashing, are based on the infectious agents that staff members are likely to come into contact with.

Make Protective Equipment Available

Employees must be provided with personal protective equipment whenever there is a high likelihood that they will be exposed to biohazards. This can include:

* Face masks
* Shields
* Respirators
* Aprons
* Protective eyewear
* Full protective suits

The type of personal protective equipment necessary depends on the mode of transmission for the biological contaminant.

Inform Your Employees

Keeping employees informed is critical. All objects that contain or were exposed biohazards must have the appropriate biohazard label. For example, it is absolutely essential that biological hazards be disposed of in a container that has a biohazard sticker. Also, it is a good idea to use a consistent color for a waste container so that staff members can quickly identify a particular waste product.

Train Staff Members

Employees need to be instructed to always report any biohazard spills to a supervisor so that employees can be protected and so that the proper cleanup methods can be employed. They must also be trained on the proper manner in which they are required to respond to a biological spill. For instance, if you will be training your staff members to perform the cleanup themselves, they will need to be properly certified. Or, if a third party will perform the cleanup, your staff members still need to be trained on how to fulfill their roles.

Regulations can vary depending on the substance that is being transported because different agencies may regulate different pharmaceutical waste products. For example, controlled substances might be regulated under a different regulatory body than other waste products.

Separate Waste

Employees need to be trained on whether certain wastes need to be separated. Depending on the nature of the waste, combining it with another waste product can increase the hazardousness of the waste product.

Enforcing best practices can be difficult since some staff members may wish to cut corners. However, by keeping staff members safe, you will avoid legal liability and will also improve morale by making employees feel safer in the workplace. There are online resources available at ICC Compliance Center, which may provide you with more information.